2:00PM Water Cooler 7/12/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of July 12: Biden down at 26.8% (27.0%), Sanders up at 15.2% (15.0%), Warren up at 15.2% (14.4%), Buttigieg flat at 5.3% (5.3%), Harris having jumped, up at 15.0% (14.8%), others Brownian motion. At this point I should issue the reminder that in 2016, averaging multiple polls was no protection; the entire herd was wrong. The only poll that consistently signaled the correct. outcome was the Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking polls, and that was because of a methodological error (they oversampled rural voters).

* * *

2020

Gravel (D)(1): I hope we see Gravel in the debates. We really need him, as opposed to, say, Hickenlooper:

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders Believes Gen Z Is ‘a Generation of Tolerance and Decency'” [Teen Vogue]. “What we did the other day working with Representative Earl Blumenauer and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is introduce a resolution which says that climate is a national emergency, which, to me, is a no brainer…. What I want to say also is we can come up with all the plans we want — and I can give you 20 plans. Doesn’t mean anything unless we have the courage to do what? Take on the fossil fuel industry, and they are very powerful. They’re making billions while they’re destroying the planet.” • “Plans,” eh?

Sanders (D)(2):

Trump (R)(1): “In a single day, Trump shows his 2020 cards” [Politico]. “In 12 hours on Thursday, through speeches and on Twitter, Trump stepped directly onto some of the most volatile fault lines that could rev up his fiercest supporters: immigration, the Pledge of Allegiance, social media bias, unfair trade with China, big banks, Iran, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, impeachment and, of course, individual Democratic candidates for president…. [A] new poll this week backed up what many Republicans have been advising Trump for months: He has a path to reelection if he can stick to a message focused on the strong economy…. Instead of working on broadening his base, Trump is counting on a different strategy altogether — getting his base to turn out, knowing that he has a narrower path to victory than in 2016, [veteran Republican strategist Doug Heye] said.”

Warren (D)(1): “With Policy and Outreach, Elizabeth Warren Makes Inroads With Black Voters” [Bloomberg]. Lots and lots of quotes from Clyburn. And: “Earlier this month, Warren also found a receptive audience for her message in Chicago when she spoke at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention. Standing at the altar of the Apostolic Faith Church, Warren eschewed her usual stump speech and spoke about her time as a Sunday School teacher before reading from Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. ‘This is not a call for another round of vague ideas,’ she said. ‘This is a call for real plans to make real changes in our lives and in our communities.” • An excellent example of the Rovian strategy of attacking an enemy’s strength; somehow, staff -reated white papers opportunistically created in campaign season have assumed equal stature to with crafted legislation on, say, #MedicareForAll. Seems to be working with the wonks, though. I wish I knew which verses from Matthew 25 Warren read; there are several parables, with differing morals to the story.

Warren (D)(2): “Elizabeth Warren Interview” [Conversations with History; Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley] After Clinton flip-flops on a bankruptcy bill supported by Clinton: “My own view of that was less about anger and more about despair, because if Hilary Clinton couldn’t resist the pull, the demands, of a well-financed lobbying group like that, then who would? Would there be a single senator or a single representative left to be there to do the people’s business?” • I suppose, in 2007, it would have been barely possible to take that view. Nevertheless.

“Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common” [Politico]. “In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to lower-income and less-educated people; Warren beats Sanders among those with postgraduate degrees. Sanders performs better with men, Warren with women. Younger people who vote less frequently are more often in Sanders’ camp; seniors who follow politics closely generally prefer Warren. Sanders also has won over more African Americans than Warren: He earns a greater share of support from black voters than any candidate in the race except for Joe Biden, according to the latest Morning Consult surveys.”

“With 16 Months to go, Negative Partisanship Predicts the 2020 Presidential Election” [Rachel Bitecofer, Judy Ford Watson Center for Public Policy]. “Barring a shock to the system, Democrats recapture the presidency. The leaking of the Trump campaign’s internal polling has somewhat softened the blow of this forecast, as that polling reaffirms what my model already knew: Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. And that is really bad news for Donald Trump because the Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House…. The complacent electorate of 2016, who were convinced Trump would never be president, has been replaced with the terrified electorate of 2020, who are convinced he’s the Terminator and can’t be stopped. Under my model, that distinction is not only important, it is everything.” • In which case RussiaRussiaRussia makes a horrid sort of sense.

2019

And today:

“CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries” [The Hill]. “A senior House Democratic aide called it “ironic and funny” that Ocasio-Cortez is accusing Pelosi of attacking women of color, when Justice Democrats is targeting minority lawmakers. ‘She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient. None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet,” the top Democratic aide told The Hill in a phone call. The aide then texted an image of a Goomba puppet from the Super Mario Bros. video game.” • Lol, the Black Misleadership Class has its knickers in a twist. Anyjow, “Goomba”–

Presumably the “senior aide” cleared through Pelosi on this?

* * *

“Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez clash drags on, threatening Democratic unity” [Politico]. “Drags on”? After what, three days? “The harmony between the two wings of the caucus is in jeopardy as moderates and progressives struggle for control of the agenda — a clash that Democratic leaders have sought to avoid since gaining the House majority — and threatens their chief priority: taking on President Donald Trump.” • This is toddler-level analysis. First, there hasn’t been “harmony” since Obama defenestrated Ellison and stood up Perez, and Perez then purged every single Sanders supporter from the Rules and Bylaws Committee (the Democrat Party governing body — if that is the phrase I want — that would decide, oh, on charged of election rigging). Second, as we saw in the Midterms worksheets I did, Pelosi deliberately moved the party’s center of gravity right through candidate selection. This is a structural issue! Third, it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that Pelosi, the DNC, and the DCCC’s strategy of seeking conservative votes by, for example, running a “Trump Democrat” (!) like Amy McGrath in Kentucky, is a winner. This contradiction was baked in, in 2016. Let it come!

“Pelosi vs AOC: not just the Greatest Generation vs the Squad” [Financial Times]. “Which of them will prevail? The odds are with Pelosi’s camp. Whatever the speaker’s faults, she is the tallest standing elected Democrat. As the twice elected speaker, and the first woman to hold that job, no Democrat can match her experience…. Moreover, she keeps getting the better of Donald Trump. Almost uniquely among his enemies, Trump has not found a nickname that will stick to Pelosi.” • Interesting point on the nickname, but if you believe Trump should be impeached, then Pelosi isn’t “getting the better” of Trump at all. Clapback memes don’t count!

“Nancy Pelosi could have it worse. AOC and the ‘Squad’ have nothing on the Freedom Caucus” [Los Angeles Times]. “A similar fight is now brewing over the annual defense authorization bill, where splits have formed over its size ($733 billion) and its proposed restrictions on the use of military funds and personnel at the border. After that are likely to come very tough votes over raising the debt ceiling, striking a budget deal that could get Congress through the 2020 election, and funding the government for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. On those issues, House Democrats are going to have to reach agreements not just with Republicans in the Senate, but also with a mercurial President Trump. Regardless of where the Squad comes down, Pelosi is going to need moderates and progressives to stay on the same page if she’s going to have any leverage in the negotiations. The border funding bill shows what happens when she doesn’t.” • But as Tywin Lannister said to Joffrey: “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king.” Or queen.

“Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership Now Constitutes a Constant Dereliction of Duty” [Esquire (Re Silc)]. “Right now, at this very moment, the United States government is committing crimes against humanity on its southern border at the command of a certifiable vulgar talking yam. The opposition party controls exactly one center of power in the tripartite government and two seats—occasionally, three—on the Supreme Court. And under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives has chosen to do precisely squat about the situation, choosing instead to pick a fight with its youngest and most charismatic members who, by the way, are pretty much the only members of the House who have gone to see the atrocities first hand. I tried to warn everyone that nothing good comes of spilling your guts to Maureen Dowd, but nobody listened.” • When you’ve lost Charlie Pierce…

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democrats’ opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians” [The Hill]. “Those Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) files aren’t on web addresses tied to its official domain, https://dccc.org/. Instead, the research files appear under such arcane URLs as http://2vmhfw1isbe32j3tgn3epw3x-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/. … the DCCC — or any other party’s committees, for that matter — could run afoul of federal campaign limits and coordination bans if it privately gave its expensive opposition research directly to candidates. So the DCCC and some of its GOP counterparts have invented a workaround. They publish opposition research reports they think can help their candidates on obscure web addresses, where their candidates can download them and most voters and Republican rivals are unlikely to see them. Party lawyers have concluded the candidates can make use of the research without claiming they were “contributions” or “coordinated expenditures” under federal election law because they were posted on a technically public — albeit little-noticed — website visible in a Google search, according to sources. Republicans and Democrats alike do it, my sources added.” • Crooks. Although you have to admire the ingenuity.

Stats Watch

Producer Price Index (Final Demand), June 2019: “Mostly soft but with interesting signs of pressure is a fair assessment of the June producer price report” [Econoday]. “Areas of weakness include energy which fell 3.1 percent in the month and also finished goods which dropped 0.4 percent and include a 0.8 percent decline for computers and no change for either autos or light trucks. Government purchases were also a negative at minus 0.4 percent. Strength includes foods with a 0.6 percent monthly gain and total services which rose 0.4 percent. Within services, trade services jumped 1.3 percent to more than reverse two prior months of declines in a gain that points to welcome price traction for wholesalers and retailers.”

Tech: “UVa-Wise to provide students, faculty, staff with tech tools” [Daily Progress]. “This fall, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise will provide each full-time student, faculty and staff member with an iPad, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.” • Tim Cook won’t let go of the idea that the iPad is a serious professional machine (no doubt becuase he wants to destroy the product line and get out of the laptop business). Try doing a term paper on one, is all I can say. Start with the fact that the iOS windowing system is an abomination.

Tech: “Google as a landlord? A looming feudal nightmare” [Guardian]. “Like industrial monopolies before it – from US Steel to the Pullman Company – Google is leveraging its significant influence to create entire urban economies dedicated to its own productivity and profitability. While this may sound like a recipe for economic boom, history suggests that the intimate intertwining of monopoly-driven corporate profit, governance and everyday life may undermine both democracy and individual autonomy. Already, much of Google’s geographic development has been shrouded in secrecy, making it nearly impossible for local communities to understand – and to oppose – the long-term impacts. Only through public records releases has the public learned that the US locations of Google’s expansion have been influenced by furtively secured tax breaks.” • I wonder how much a tax break costs? A steak dinner?

The Biosphere

“Plant a Trillion Trees, But Don’t Stop There” [Bloomberg]. The deck: “The fight against climate change requires big ideas. Plural.” Yes! More: “The risk in embracing such a theory is that it might mislead people into thinking we don’t need to cut emissions or continue research into other solutions. Multiple approaches are required, even if mass reforestation were practical and imminent – which it isn’t…. You can see why it’s dangerous to get caught up in the “one big idea” model; the idea is always vulnerable to being shot down. With climate change, like many serious problems, doing nothing is not a viable option. In the absence of a single solution, we need to deploy many partial ones – including lots and lots of tree planting.” • I’m sure there’s a fancy name for this idea; something like the “Precautionary Principle” (though I know this logic is not an example of that).

“I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations” [Guardian (DL)]. From March, still germane: “At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies. I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun. Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic.” • Awful. But the links are gone. How about the resources themselves?

Police State Watch

“St. Louis police union urges members to post controversial symbol on social media pages” [St Louis Post Dispatch]. “The union’s president, Ed Clark, posted a letter late Wednesday on the organization’s Facebook page, asking members to use the “Blue Line Punisher” image as their profile picture on social media. The union represents about 1,200 officers; the union’s Facebook site has more than 14,000 followers…. Emily Baker-White of the Plain View Project said that while the Punisher image ‘doesn’t have a racist connotation, it does have a problematic connotation.’ ‘This is a character who distinctly does not deal in due process, right down to his name, this is a person who is interested in meting out punishment or pain rather than process.”

Water

“Sinkhole: What is happening beneath the ground downtown?” [Baltimore Sun]. • Great, great local reporting. First, the sewers. Then, potable water…

Health Care

“Pelosi vs AOC: not just the Greatest Generation vs the Squad” [Rana Foroohar, Financial Times]. This column veered off topic to include the following: “I have what is supposed to be ‘decent’ private healthcare and I spend hours each month on the phone struggling to get reimbursement and recoup claims mishandled by an insurance company that I suspect uses delay and opacity as part of its business model. This is shadow work that nearly every American I know — at least the ones without concierge medicine — has to deal with. It saps money, productivity and growth. As someone who had two children happily on the National Health Service in London, I say bring on socialised medicine. I’m behind anyone who’ll keep calling for it, no matter how politically unfeasible it seems at the moment.” • “Shadow work” is Yves’ “tax on time.” #MedicareForAll advocates, and especially the Sanders campaign, need to start making this argument forcefully.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

In 2011…

News of the Wired

“Researchers dropped 17,000 wallets around the world to test “civic honesty.” The ones that were returned surprised them.” [Business Insider]. “[T]he research group ‘lost’ 17,000 wallets in 355 cities and 40 countries to see how people would respond. Researchers wondered too whether the quantity of money inside the wallet would effect how test subjects behaved. Roughly 72 percent of the wallets containing $100 were reported, compared to 61 percent of the wallets with $13. Yet, 46 percent of the wallets with no money in them were reported. The study revealed that people’s honesty was not necessarily dependent on the possibility of economic gain. Rather, it had more to do with how bad the act of dishonesty made them feel. Researchers concluded two explanations for this.” • This doesn’t seem to have worked in the case of the bailouts, or quantitative easing.

“Prisoners ‘to be given own cell keys as reward for good behaviour'” [Evening Standard]. • Sounds legit. Who among us does not hold the key to our own cell?

“A neuroscientist who studies rage says we’re all capable of doing something terrible” [Quartz]. Like–

“It’s Easy to Hate Selfies. But Can They Also Be a Force for Good?” [New York Times]. “Since the term “selfie” first caught on — it was the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013 — researchers have identified three types of selfie-takers. There are communicators, who want to have a two-way conversation (for example, a post with an ‘I Voted’ sticker to encourage civic engagement); autobiographers, who document their lives for their own purposes, rather than seeking feedback or compliments (a selfie at home with a favorite coffee mug, or a photo at the Grand Canyon); and self-publicists, who want to build a brand and positively curate an image (à la the Kardashians).” • Hmm. Don’t those categories tend to collapse and corrode on social media?

Les tricoteuses:

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):

TH writes: “So we (hubby and I) were at a garage sale, and spotting this butterfly, I announced it’=s presence to the homeowner. She might have raised it herself for how proud she was of this Monarch butterfly on her Milkweed plant, and she might have, since, as you likely know, that’s one of the Monarch’s favorite plants for egg deposits.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

194 comments

    1. hemeantwell

      Thanks for linking to Michael Roberts’ work. His falling rate of profit/Kondratieff wave approach leaves me wary, but in his posts he argues with the positions of Stiglitz, Tooze, and others in a useful way.

      Reply
    2. pretzelattack

      he certainly seemed to cave in easily in the negotiations between the uk and the us following ww2. and the part about being managed by a professional class is just straight up neoliberalism.

      Reply
  1. Dan

    “Plant a billion trees”

    One in the ground is better than all the prattle in the world.

    This worked for me:

    Search “start trees in milk cartons”

    Reply
    1. rd

      40 million acres of lawn in the US (1.9% of our land mass – more acres than corn): https://scienceline.org/2011/07/lawns-vs-crops-in-the-continental-u-s/

      If we averaged 100 trees per acre (reasonable for 20″ diameter trees):file:///C:/Users/p0005619/Downloads/For_Std_Den_Guide.pdf

      Then the US alone could add 4 billion mature trees just by planting them in our lawns. We would also no longer have the neighbor making loud lawnmower noises while we relax in nature and air pollution due to those nasty two-stroke engines would decline.

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        Last time I saw a 2-cycle mower was about 30 years ago. Even Lawn-Boy gave them up due to emissions regulations.
        Lotta 2 cycle leaf blowers around, still, though.

        Reply
        1. pricklyone

          Unfortunately, unless you are going to turn residential lawns into actual forests, or ersatz forests, you still gotta mow around the trees.

          Reply
        2. Felix_47

          And the leaf blowers are a huge source of income for Mexico and Central America. Running the leaf blower is an entry level job for young men who have recently arrived. When children took care of the yards rakes were what were used. And fifty years ago yards were a lot more scruffy, as I recall. Better garden maintenance is a benefit of the new global economy.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the US alone could add 4 billion mature trees just by planting them in our lawns

        I wonder if we could get a “Keeping Up with the Joneses” dynamic going with trees, instead of lawns. I don’t see why not, and possibly somebody is going it. (Note that unlike food forests, which are conceived of as public, Liberty Forests™ could be framed as improving property values (????).

        Reply
        1. markos didaktikos

          They need water.

          May cause structural damage in storms. Or pose Fire hazards in many places (like mine in Oregon)[but seemed like a good idea at the time]

          Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If the Liberty Trees are too tall and too close to buildings, then millions of Liberty Trees will fall on million of buildings ( including houses) in the global warming super-storms of tomorrow.

          Perhaps covering Suburbistan with millions of Liberty Gardens might be better than covering Suburbistan with millions of Liberty Forests which will destroy millions of houses when they all fall on the houses.

          Reply
  2. Louis Fyne

    — Instead of working on broadening his base, Trump is counting on a different strategy altogether — getting his base to turn out, —

    2nd term presidential election fights are low(er) turnout affairs. You **want** to rally your base. Just saying.

    Can I call myself a political strategist now? I’ll even undercut every other DC suit as long as I get unlimited beer and hummus :)

    Reply
    1. Briny

      Really, I figure Team Trump calculated that pocketbook voters don’t require any of their attention which sounds right. Perhaps we should form the somethingNC consultancy?

      Reply
  3. Louis Fyne

    — Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. —

    what was that saying about those doomed to forget the past?…… 2016 was not a fluke. Trump tapped into a visceral zeitgeist between the Hudson River/I-495 and the California border.

    PS, “Blue Tsunami” never happened, remember? Trump lost the typical number of 1st term president incumbent party House seats. Just saying.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Thank you.

      RE: Blue Tsunami™: we did get the Slotkin, Spanberger, et al MILO
      types, so there’s that.

      Dems puh

      Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      2014 off-year turnout, age 18-29: 20%
      2018 off-year turnout, age 18-29: 36%

      And there’s another 6 months of progressive rhetoric before we even start voting.

      Watch out, Donald. Bernie is coming.

      Reply
      1. JohnnySacks

        I swear I watched 15-20 minutes of poll blathering on MSNBC yesterday and “he who shall go unnamed” wasn’t mentioned once. If the 18-29 crew gets out in the primaries this may be the one. But Trump is going to be doing everything in his power to keep the casino running flush until early November. It almost worked for George Bush, only fell short a couple months. If he pulls it off with a Dem in the White House, we’re done in 2022 across the board.

        Reply
    3. Geo

      I also love how much praise Pelosi gets for her brilliant stuardship that helped reclaim the House. As if the prior decade of hemorrhaging seats from top to bottom never happened. It’s like Dems are a dehydrated wanderer in the desert that sees a mirage in the distance and call it a blue tsunami.

      Reply
    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker

      Dems are really failing the Kubler-Ross test. At least this sounds like an admission that l’Orange won. But the facts are that Ms. Inevitable lost to a pair of aces. I also did not read the article by the ‘veteran Republican strategist’ for the similar reasons. I predict the 2020 postmortem will be all about ‘no one anticipated those people voting.’ Trump will be pushing checklists of what he did versus what he promised in 2016 and the veteran analysts will lol up to November. Imagine, the shear hubris of running on your record? Trump will run on the fact that he is Trump, and any Democratic Candidate other than Bernie will run on the certainty that no one, at least no one worth speaking about, will vote for Trump.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        All well said; thing is, (as you know) Dem elites are fine with
        losing, as long as the money keeps flowing their way (Fighting for!).

        Maybe this will become apparent to enough of the citizenry
        to matter, soon. Or not.

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        hmm maybe a pair of treys, but they are a favorite against ace 8, especially played by a veteran player who doesn’t seem to have learned the basics of the game she is playing (there is this thing called the electoral college). but she accomplished her goal of screwing sanders out of the pot.

        Reply
      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Trump will run on the fact that he is Trump

        1) TPP is dead

        2) No crazy wars (at least not yet)

        3) Economy not in the crapper (ditto*)

        And for the right:

        4) Totally owning the libs

        5) Owning the Never Trumpers even worse

        6) Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade

        Trump really does have a case to make, although being Trump, who knows? If he threw a few bankers in jail over the next year, who knows?

        NOTE * I don’t think the Fed will tip the economy into the crapper either, because that would help Sanders

        Reply
    5. dcrane

      So much focus on the imagined Democrats who assumed that Trump couldn’t win. What about the Republicans who assumed they couldn’t vote for Trump in 2016 because he was supposed to be Baby Hitler or that he would precipitate WWIII? Such scaremongering won’t deter them in 2020. In other words, Republicans will come home too.

      And fundamentally, I can’t see an easy path for the Democrats if the economy somehow holds up.

      Reply
  4. Grant

    So, is it now not obvious that the Democrat’s shift to the left was rhetorical? Is it not obvious to those not paying tons of attention who Pelosi works for? All her bribes, the Pravda like media support, and she is threatened by a small group of newcomers that she herself says have little power. That is how weak those in power are. Could you imagine the fun that would ensue if there were a dozen people like AOC? I also sick of people looking at this a largely ideological battle. It isn’t, it is a class issue, who the system works for and who it doesn’t work for. It works for Pelosi, her donors, those running the DCCC and the DNC, it works for the wealthy (those on TV are in the same economic class and back her as a result). The data clearly shows this. This fight needs to happen, and if it destroys the Democratic Party, so be it. If this is what this party is and if it refuses to change it should collapse.

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      This seems relevant:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geCSPVzuLJk

      in addition to demonetizing Independent news sources, YouTube has also apparently changed its’ algorithms to reduce the number of suggestions that viewers are presented with.

      Also, too, isn’t YouTube owned by Google, who is presently competing for the Pentagon cloud contracts with Amazon?

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        Problem is, YouTubers cannot be “independent” news sources. Google owns the platform, and can censor content, and recommend what they will.
        I am surprised the ride lasted as long a it has. Free hosting for video!??
        Advertisers call the shots on YT, as well as the internet at large. That is the internet business model, largely the same as the newspaper…RIP.

        Reply
    2. Tvc15

      Grant said, “…it is a class issue, who the system works for and who it doesn’t work for”. Exactly! Now if we can get the rest of the propagandized public to wake up and realize that too. A little Epstein fatigue, but I mention because most people seem to view it through their own political partisanship. Trump or Clinton, red team or blue team. NO, it’s a class issue and always has been!

      Reply
    3. Jeff W

      …[Pelosi] is threatened by a small group of newcomers that she herself says have little power

      And meanwhile the DCCC institutes that policy to thwart primary challengers in favor of incumbents of whom “two-thirds are white and about the same share are men,” according to the NYT.

      It is a class issue, not even “first and foremost” but solely, and it’s perfectly clear just whom Pelosi and the establishment (at least) of Democratic party are working for and even clearer whom they’re working against. A dozen more like AOC? Bring ’em on.

      Reply
    4. WheresOurTeddy

      what was fought against tooth and nail in 2015 and 2016 is now viewed as inevitable course of events

      The 2016 nominee said we’d “Never ever” have single payer.
      Now it’s a litmus test for the nomination.

      Let’s not forget it is the tireless efforts of Sanders and millions of others that did that.

      Reply
    5. Geo

      “I also sick of people looking at this a largely ideological battle. It isn’t, it is a class issue, who the system works for and who it doesn’t work for.”

      Well said! Their values: Donors over voters, corporations over humans, rich over poor. Any benefit they bequeath upon the masses is purely accidental.

      Reply
    6. Mo's Bike Shop

      There was a shift to the left? Sorry, don’t watch video. And Milhous would be impeached as a Hippy today.

      As for AOC, I’d like to hear from everyone who said she sold out in January. I assume that her photogenicity will protect her from Hollywood for Ugly People unless they can redistrict her. Isn’t ‘move fast and break things’ an important value here in Merica?

      Meanwhile I try to imagine going toe to toe with the Speaker of the House when I was twenty nine. I would have shat my britches.

      And I haven’t studied her closely, and only respond to her righteousness. Any effective politician needs all the skills of a con-man and I simply don’t know if she has that.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > And I haven’t studied her closely, and only respond to her righteousness. Any effective politician needs all the skills of a con-man and I simply don’t know if she has that.

        FWIW, I think she’s the most interesting politician today. I don’t think her articulation of class issues is as crisp as it might be, since idpol is so promiscuously adhered among liberal Democrats, but it may be she will be driven in that direction (and she has the life experience to navigate those contradictions).

        Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Shes succumbing to DNC talking points- Immigration, Impeachment are the two that come to mind.

          If the Squad doesn’t endorse Bernie, then idk…theyre pretty much dead to me.

          Reply
  5. Louis Fyne

    About that wallet study—-here’s the link to the paper. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/70

    I wonder if the lesser returns of “no money” wallets is due to the presumption that honest people don’t want to be blamed for returning an empty wallet.

    as for all I know—-if I find an empty wallet, it might have had $300. Hence I might get accused of a crime I didn’t commit….no good deed goes unpunished.

    Reply
    1. grayslady

      I hadn’t thought about being accused of taking money from a wallet that was empty when found. Good point. Probably best to pick up the wallet with a handkerchief or piece of paper–absence of your own fingerprints would tend to support not having stolen any money.
      My reasons for turning in a wallet would never have anything to do with guilt, but rather with empathy. Anyone who has ever lost something valuable and had it returned intact knows the feeling of joy and relief when the object makes its reappearance. If I can do something nice for a stranger, that’s just paying it forward. Very different than feeling guilty for not returning something.

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        grayslady,
        If you turned in a lost wallet, your prints would be expected to be found on it. Maybe less suspicious than if not found there…
        If someone had something in their wallet that justified the authorities having it fingerprinted, they have a bigger problem than a few hundred bucks!
        I always got chastised for looking down, while walking around, instead of looking where I was going :), and I have turned in more than one lost wallet.
        Lost mine going to a bar/ tavern once, luckily it turned out to have fallen inbetween car door and seat, behind seat belt retractor. Had a large sum of cash in it, but you worry more about ID, and cancelling credit cards, etc, these days.
        P.s. if it’s bloody, then leave it and call cop.

        Reply
    2. Jeff W

      That’s an excellent theory.

      I wonder why the authors of that study didn’t include Japan, which has a well-deserved reputation regarding lost wallets. Perhaps they regarded it as too much of an outlier to be included?

      I was in Japan with someone who was living in Chiba, outside of Tokyo—he inadvertently left his wallet in a taxi in Nara, about 371 km away. We were unperturbed. About two days later, the wallet, with every item intact, was at the Tokyo police station, available for pickup. (We did not get it back cleaner, however.)

      Reply
    3. Nax

      I’ve spent hours trying to return a wallet before. first trying to locate the owner, then when that failed sitting in the family blog jail for two hours waiting for a law enforcement officer to be bothered to come downstairs and take it from me.

      That it may have just been so some smug social ‘scientist’ can polish their ability to punish good Samaritans is quite galling.

      Reply
      1. marym

        I had a purse returned to me without the money and was grateful to the people who found it and made the effort to get in touch with me – never thought for a minute that they’d taken the money. What a stupid “experiment” to use people without their consent and waste their time and good will over nothing. If the wallet you found made it’s way back to the owner, I’m sure they thank you.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        I found someone’s cloth wallet lying in a puddle. In trying to find out who it belonged to, we wound up with some girl’s life spread out on our table, drying. No money, but lots of card receipts. Took a while, but eventually we found a university student card and returned it via the security office.

        Reply
    4. Brooklin Bridge

      The study is plausible, but there is also the simple explanation that the less the wallet is worth to the person that lost it, the less point in the bother of returning. People are busy. They don’t want to get entangled even in (or particularly in) a “thank you” type situation unless there is something significant or of importance to be accomplished. Returning a lot of money is obviously worthwhile and important to the owner. So are credit cards and avoiding the hassle of having to void them all.

      The idea that people want to avoid feeling guilty is fair but a little cynical. I think 1) Empathy with the loss, 2) feeling good about oneself probably are more frequent candidates of motivation than the prospect of guilt which people usually only feel after the fact.

      This study sounds a little like the “got to find something negative for it to be plausible.” bias (i.e. If you want to convince someone of something you said or did, just find the negative in it).

      Of course these are not necessarily contradictory. More than likely it’s a mixed bag.

      That said, I would agree that the prospect of no good deed goes unpunished in the case of an empty wallet is a perceptive and plausible assessment for why people might not bother to get involved.

      Reply
      1. turtle

        This was my exact same theory when I first heard of this study – that the finder wouldn’t be bothered going through the trouble of returning it if nothing of value was in it. Pretty simple, I think. Although I haven’t read the study to see if they mention what else was in the wallets.

        Reply
    5. Mo's Bike Shop

      If you want to panhandle for real money, make sure you wear a nice suit. Works on the street, works in the boardroom.

      But also wallets dumped with no cash is precisely how the pickpocket economy works. If you don’t have a record as a pickpocket, do not worry about it. I have not lost a wallet, but I would gladly lose the cash as a ‘finders fee.’ And frankly, I personally would probably yank the cash and leave contact information before turning it in so the wallet did not get ‘lost’ in the lost and found. Or put two dollars in it.

      My Mother is currently waiting for her wallet, and and apparently her cash, being returned from losing it on a recent visit to Washington DC. !!11!!

      Also, be sure your current phone number is in your wallet in a prominent place. She could have picked it up in person while still there if she had done that.

      We may have a reified culture of greed is good, empathy is for losers, but most people don’t actually swing that way. They have mirror neurons. They can understand how it feels. They want to earn mojo in a world where god is dead.

      Reply
    6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      One time when i was like 17 i lost my wallet at Blue Bayou Waterpark.

      A month later, i get a package in the mail with my wallet and nothing missing from it.

      Workers always do the right thing and i live my life paying it forward.

      Reply
  6. Lee

    Gallup poll historical data on U.S. public attitudes toward legal immigration is over the years mostly positive. There are anomalies. For instance, what happened in 1993 that caused anti-immigrant sentiment to spike? PG&E burned my house down that year and I was out of the loop.
    https://news.gallup.com/poll/1660/immigration.aspx

    However:

    Americans are fine with the general idea of increased border security. A recent survey by ABC News/Washington Post, for example, showed that a majority of Americans feel too little is being done to keep people from entering the U.S. illegally. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that only about a third of Americans believe the border is secure. And Gallup polling from a few years ago showed that 77% of Americans say it is important to control U.S. borders to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
    https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/246665/immigration-public-opinion-congress.aspx

    Which leads me to believe that Democrats are being electorally suicidal when it comes to the issue.

    Reply
    1. pricklyone

      Are you looking at the correct line? The dark green (on my mon.) shows people who thought immgration should be INCREASED. This went up in ’92,
      Spike for those who thought it should be decreased (lt. grey) altered from its slow increase to a sharper increase after the Reagan amnesty in 1986. And the corresponding coverage. Whoda thunk.

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        OOps, WENT up, not wet. and after 93,, not 92. my bad…
        One of us is reading the question and graph wrong. It is a lousy framing.
        If you read it as IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT, it would read very differently.

        Reply
  7. shinola

    That Mike Gravel campaign ad is excellent. Nice quickie compilation of Biden’s scumbaggery.

    Here’s hoping Gravel gains some traction.

    Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Gravel qualified according to the rules*. We’d better change them, retroactively!

        NOTE * Actually, I’m not certain. IRRC, there are 20 slots (?) and 21 people qualifying. So it’s hard to think that whatever arcane, Third World-style formula the DNC uses to throw out the debater surplus to requirements won’t be tuned to retain Hickenlooper, say, and throw out Gravel.

        Reply
  8. Mark Gisleson

    This is driving me nuts. Pelosi is not a member of the Greatest Generation, the youngest members of which are now 95 years old!

    The oldest Boomers are now 73.

    Everyone in between is a member of The Silent Generation / Forgotten Generation of which the Silent Majority was a subset. These are the people running everything but the media only knows Boomers v Greatest Generation memes.

    Reply
      1. foghorn longhorn

        This has been a beef for me as well, how is it possible to be the same generation as your parents?
        The Silent generation sounds like a perfectly fine moniker for them, also.
        Or go along to get along generation.
        Speaking of which, Acosta is the first victim of the latest epstein affair.
        Good effing riddance.

        Reply
        1. pricklyone

          Boomer definition generally accepted is an 18 year span.
          Parent under 18 would fall in the same cohort as their child.
          Shows how silly the concept is.

          Reply
    1. LifelongLib

      My about to turn 93 dad was in the navy at the end of WW2, so I’d extend the minimum age for the Greatest Generation down by 2 or 3 years, but agree that the term doesn’t apply to anyone younger than that.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      Still silent after all these years. Between “greatest” and “boom” they’re like the eye of a hurricane – silent but ominous. :)

      Reply
    3. John

      I shall quibble. All this generational naming is a lot of foolishness. That said the so-called silent generation is a small cohort because the birth rate was depressed by the depression. 1936 the year I was born, was the bottom of the curve so how can said silent/forgotten generation have been a majority silent or otherwise. Consider the years 1930-1945, which I take as the markers for my generation. Born in the depression and the oldest came to young adulthood just in time for FDR to die and the Atomic bombs to be dropped on Japan. Then the Cold War to get going as did the Korean War just as we were approaching draft age and McCarthy to give us the second Red Scare.It was probably a good time to be quieter and try to figure out the madness.

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        Just heard from someone who knows this stuff (she works with fundraisers) that the Silent Generation is currently the richest generation.

        But mostly I find it ironic that what some call the Forgotten Generation really is routinely ignored, usually at Baby Boomer expense.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > she works with fundraisers

          I’m sure generational analysis works for fundraising; it is, after all, a marketing concept.

          It doesn’t work in politics — or works only to obfuscate and distract — because generations don’t have political agency.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            As a millenial who majored in Poli Sci, i find the generational cohorts category useful. Especially the 68 protestors and their kids voting preferences.

            Reply
      2. pricklyone

        Lambert was right on this. Generations don’t have agency. People do.
        My younger brother is 10 years younger. We are in different cohorts, by the dates…
        What the heck does it matter to either of us, raised by the same parents, in the same place.
        Only the media narrative changed?

        Reply
    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Everyone in between is a member of The Silent Generation / Forgotten Generation of which the Silent Majority was a subset. These are the people running everything but the media only knows Boomers v Greatest Generation memes. … The oldest Boomers are now 73.

      This is such garbage. Doing the arithmetic, the oldest boomer was born on Saturday, 13 July 1946. So are we saying that somebody born on Saturday, 12 July 1946, is not a Boomer? Oh, but how unfair, of course the edges are fuzzy! So now we have some Boomers born on Saturday, 13 July 1946, and others who are not Boomers, but also born on Saturday, 13 July 1946. And then of course the Canadians have metric dates, so that’s confusing. Etc. Etc. Etc. The whole apparatus deserves as much respect as phrenology or Humorism, both of which people deeply believed in, both of which were the subject of many books.

      Pah!

      UPDATE Adding, if we said “People who were born in the 18th C _________” or “People who were born in the 18th C chose _______” everybody would immediately spot the statement as nonsensical, but for some reason — the cute labels? — nobody spots the nonsense with “Boomer,” “Silent Generation,” “Generation Z,” etc. It’s positively brain-damaged.

      Reply
      1. Darthbobber

        Marc Bloch, in the Historian’s Craft, gave a fairly short and useful discussion of the ways in which there are and are not generational commonalities. His example was his own generation’s experience of the Dreyfus scandal. It didn’t predict where people might come down on precise issues later, but it did exist as a common major lens through which they evaluated succeeding events, whichever position they had taken on the scandal itself, in a way that it was not for succeeding and prreceding generations. So he found generationality a sometimes useful concept, PROVIDED that you were damned careful about it.

        Reply
  9. richard

    Thanks for the sneak peek at the gravel ad, lambert.
    I spoke to my brother the other day for the first time in a while
    he’s fairly conventional politically and in terms of wealth and social class he’s a 10%er, no doubt
    (the reason we don’t talk much has nothing to do with politics, btw, just a family dynamic that I hope to change a little)
    after our talk i saw the gravel email about trying to get in the next debate and forwarded it to my brother with a note about check this guy out, all he wants to do is speak out against the foreverwar, see if you’re interested.
    This is first time I’ve ever forwarded anything like that to him, or anyone much really. It feels pushy and disrespectful.
    but i did it this time with my brother
    the big guy pushed open the bar door but no “Norm!” followed
    sign of the times, gotta mean something

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the big guy pushed open the bar door but no “Norm!” followed

      Can you expand on this reference for those like me who are challenged with respect to popular culture?

      Reply
      1. richard

        sorry, I was referencing the tv show cheers, back in the 80’s
        when george wendt’s (rather large) character would enter the bar, everyone would shout norm!
        because that was his name :)
        anyway, i broke a norm, or what i thought was a norm
        and the world did not come crashing down but instead a quick and friendly reply
        “I like his name!”
        and possibly $1 for mike
        so that’s all right isn’t it

        Reply
  10. richard

    re tree planting/climate change/ precautionary principle
    I don’t have a particularly fancy word to express this idea, but it is a concept classroom teachers deal with a lot, especially when working with children who need a lot of intervention, and intervention along multiple fronts. The expression I have always used, is there is no 100% solution, but there are at least 100 little 1% solutions. So let’s start to work on those.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the one magic solution is the Silver Bullet, the many little magic partial solutions could be the Cloud of Silver beebees

      Reply
  11. mle in detroit

    LOL. Gotta go back to checking in with Charles Pierce daily: “certifiable vulgar talking yam.”

    Reply
    1. KLG

      He has been using that term for years. It fits, but Charlie Pierce if full-on Maddow Mode most of the time. I was actually happy that Esquire put him behind a subscription wall. My subscription here and at FT is quite enough. I check in with Pierce occasionally, but when my free looks are up, I just wait a few weeks for another crack in the window. CPP began as a sportswriter, where bullshit was not allowed in the news columns of the Sports Pages of yesteryear. Pity the decline…all around.

      Reply
  12. DJG

    Notes on Goombah (or in good Neapolitan, cumpà): The term comes from compare (meanings: witness at one’s wedding, companion, godfather to one’s child, a bro). It isn’t a general word for an Italian or Italian-American, so I’m trying to figure out the racial-insult angle here.

    Yes, it is true that Italians and Italian-Americans are not white within the U.S. racial categories of whiteness and racial hysteria, but calling someone an Italian isn’t much of a slight.

    As a Sicilian, and as USonian of Sicilian descent, I do object to being called a terrone di merda. But that is more Salvini than congressional staffers.

    I should point out that my mother’s godfather was from Puglia, which is compare-central. But he met his match. An Italian woman. All of whom know how to tame the mighty goombah. After some stupid escapades on his part, Comara Jennie kept him confined to a big chair in the living room, where he was allowed to have her famous spaghetti with squid sauce on Christmas eve.

    I will now put on my sleeveless t-shirt, wander out into the garden like Marlon Brando, and fondle some plum tomatoes, as I contemplate AOC’s questioning of why holding down wages somehow is a valid way of dealing with inflation.

    Reply
    1. Fiery Hunt

      I always took “goombah” to be a clueless Mafia henchman; think I got it from the Godfather movies(?).
      Otherwise known as a mook, a meathead, muscle, etc……

      Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.
      Educate me , commentariat?

      Reply
      1. Joe Renter

        Goombah. I my experience working for two Italian families and one Sicilian, it was always used as bro or buddy. All these folks were great to be around, very warm and inclusive.

        Reply
      2. Harold

        In Giovanni Verga’s novels (or novellas), one of which was made into the opera Cavalleria rusticana (“rustic chivalry, i.e., code of honor] all the workers and townspeople address each other with the honorific “Compare” [lit. “godfather’] or “Comare” [“godmother]. It is roughly equivalent to “comrade”. A professional or noble would have the title “don”, and a craftsman, “mastro”.

        Reply
        1. Harold

          At the end of the opera Cavalleria rusticana, the people shout, “Hanno ammazzato compare Turiddu!” — “They have killed our comrade, Turiddu!”

          Reply
    2. anonymous

      Speculating here: The brothers of the Congressional Black Caucus, particularly rep Gregor Meeks ( Queens NY) are warning/embarrassing AOC, and the justice democrats, not to play games w/ people of color idpol. In the Bronx — butting right-up against AOC’s 14th District — is an Italian neighborhood Arthur Avenue — a political powerhouse. In Little Italies all over NY goombah (cumpa’) does mean brother — in most instances affectionately. AOC (Justice Democrats, funded by “the elitists white liberals”) are being told that she is neither a brother to the Congressional Black Caucus, nor a goombah to Arthur Ave.

      If you say”Mario’s” to anyone in the Bronx, they won’t think of that sock puppet; they will immediately think of Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue, among the most famous Italian Restaurants in NY, and possibly the most famous business in the Bronx; but certainly symbolic of oldstyle (or ol’school) NY clubhouse politics. The place is truly historic — Joe Dimaggio, historian Robert Caro, any movie star, writer, or politician you could name has eaten at Mario’s. (I missed Muhammad Ali by 20 minutes once.)
      AOC grewup here — she knows.
      (I’ve never understood why Italian Americans, in general, are so averse to progressive politics. It’s a different democratic party in da Bronx.)

      Reply
        1. anonymous

          In her excellent radio interview with the New Yorker AOC tells David Remnick that in 2022 she could be gerrymandered into “a spaghetti noodle of a district”

          The message to AOC from CBC is that you don’t represent your twitter followers.

          Arthur Avenue is mobbed with shoppers.

          Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Notes on Goombah

      Assuming lazy and/or stupid, the first google hit on Goombah is the definition: “an associate or accomplice, especially a senior member of a criminal gang.” So the effort would be to frame AOC’s “squad” as a criminal gang. I think that would get a lot of traction among the 500 or so people who run things on capital hill, but probably not in the country at large).

      As far as the image:

      1) A puppet, therefore AOC’s “squad” is being manipulated by a criminal mastermind,

      2) Orange, therefore pro-Trump,

      3) with the unfocused googly eyes of a crazy person. (The press does this with AOC photos a lot, just as they consistently portray Sanders as cranky and on the verge of senility.)

      I woudn’t be surprised if the liberal Democrat hive mind actually believes #1 and #2. After all, what other explanation could there be?

      Reply
      1. DJG

        Lamberto: Further notes on Goombà:
        –Some of this may be in-group and out-group stuff, much as we see usages among black people differing from what is allowed to outsiders. I may have given the “fra noi” definition of goombà.
        –Another in-group / out-group thing. Italians and Italian-American culture values puppets. So the image works as a signification to the out-group.
        –Your observations 2 and 3 indicate just how deeply prejudiced the writers in the U.S. media are–and they do not examine their own prejudices. Another in-group thing: you can’t believe the number of articles written by goyim about pizza, with ridiculous ideas about what is pretty much a comfort food.
        –Your observations 2 and 3 mean that we all have to have a hardened / narrow filter, so as not to let misinformation through.
        –anonymous above is not accurate about the conservatism among Italian-Americans. My own world consists of people from ooshy liberal to communists. Yes, Santorum and Scalia exist, but they are parodies of the cranky uncle whom the other goombàs mainly just tolerated.
        –Italian-American “conservatism” in such matters as manners, treatment of children (spoiling), food, and celebration of holidays is a residue of the mistreatment of Italian immigrants in the U S of A. Italian-Americans don’t want to be mansplained and ladysplained by Our Betters (who always came off as rather ludicrous even to Italian-immigrant peasants).

        Reply
        1. anonymous

          At lunchtime in grammar school, I was often quickly ushered through the cafeteria line by these Italian women, in white unforms and hairnets, with more food on my tray than I could possibly eat — right past the cashier. These women seemed very old to me at the time, but during the Great Depression, when they were little girls my grandfather, an MD, had taken care of them without charge, because their fathers were unemployed and there was NO work available. I would grow up and watch these same families become Reagan Democrats. I never understood that.

          Reply
  13. ambrit

    Just a quick report from the ground level.
    I went to the small vitamin store this morning. Alas and alack! She will be closing up in three weeks.
    First, she will have to take a loss for this year. Business has been abysmal. She mentioned that the younger ‘visitors’ have developed the habit of coming in, picking her brain about health related subjects and then, “..they pick up the product I propose for their complaint, take a picture of it on their iPhone and walk out. Not a sale, a thank you, or a wave. This younger group, those I have dealt with, are the most narcissistic bunch of (family bloggers) I have ever encountered in my life.”
    Second, the Property Management Group who runs the strip mall has let her know that, they aren’t certain if they’ll raise her rent or not, but that, either way, she will now have to sign a three or five year lease. “I would have to be insane to lock myself into a long term lease in these uncertain times. I don’t even know for certain that I can come up with the last month’s rent on my present lease!” This outfit hails from somewhere in Texas and has not cut anybody in their properties any slack whatsoever.
    Third, related to point two, the Christian Life store is now empty. Both the ‘Bed Bath and Beyond’ outlet and the ‘Dress Barn’ store now have ‘Store-wide Clearance Sales’ underway. The woman who managed the Christian Store closing had told the Vitamin Lady that Dress Barn was next on the block.
    Fourth, I have seen several restaurant conversions, from failed “Newest Cool Concept” to “Neo-Newest Kule Koncept,” that are now hanging fire. Several months between the “Leased” sign on the building signage to any actual work converting said emporium is standard now. On some, the “Leased” signs have come down and the properties relisted for commercial lease. Money is tight for the small entrepreneur.
    Fifth, there is a lack of disposable income in a larger segment of the population now. I know that it is summer, but there has been a visible uptick in street corner begging recently. Men and women now sit on some of the better traveled street intersections with their “Help! Homeless and Hungry.” signs.
    Six. Petty crime is on the rise, if anecdotal evidence is any good. People now regularly post; “Warning. Couple scamming door to door.” on social media, such as the Nextdoor site. Posts about car break-ins and property theft are fairly regular now on the same sites. I hear from my sources in the exurbs that petty crime is on the rise out there also. The local WalMarts have now installed metal gates at the entrances to the store. I asked about it this morning, and was told that it was to prevent people exiting anywhere else but through the check out lines. When I teased the woman guarding one entrance about it being for “the public’s safety,” she scowled at me and said that it was to “stop the shoplifters.” So, the Bigg Boxx Stores are having to come to grips with the nascent crime wave. Also, the live cashiers have been reduced in number yet again. My usual source at the “Ghetto WalMart” said that the rumour mill says that there are more layoffs, er, downsizing for efficiency, in the pipeline. The new group of floor workers in one of the WalMarts had that indefinable feel of being ex-military to a great degree. Roughly half of these new workers gave me that ‘vibe.’
    Well, that’s all for now from South Deploristan.

    Reply
    1. Robert McGregor

      Hi Ambrit, Could you tell us where you hail from? Is “South Deploristan” South Carolina? If so, I’m not too far south of you; I’m in Atlanta. Your descriptions of conditions reminds me of what is going on here.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Ambrit is in Mississippi I believe.

        I lived in Atlanta for many years but don’t get back much. However my impression is that the place is booming more than ever. Certainly the traffic has gotten worse.

        Reply
          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            I’m not even in the South. I’m down in Florida ;)

            Carolinian: (which I always read with a ‘g’) Whenever I’ve driven through Atlanta I put my leather biking gloves on. Oi veh.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              North of the lake or south of it. That’s the traditional dividing line.
              I grew up in a part of the Miami area that was roughly, a part of New jersey that fell off and drifted South. (That Flagler dude has a lot to answer for.)

              Reply
                1. ambrit

                  Ah. A lot of my High School mates went to UofF up there.
                  When we traveled up to Tallahassee for Speech and Debate State level, we thought that we had entered another country altogether.

                  Reply
      2. ambrit

        Hi there Mr. McGregor. We hail from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. South Central Mississippi. About 70 or 80 miles north of the Gulf Coast beaches and about mid way in the centre of the state from East to West. A two college town of about 50,000. One institution is William Carey, which has an excellent nursing program and a pretty good performing arts scene. The other is Southern Miss, a big state school. When Southern is open, it adds about 15,000 people to the town population. So, Town and Gown is a real “thing” here.
        Southern has a big business school. That’s why I mention the ephemeral eateries around here. Many of them are set up by Business School graduates almost as test runs for something bigger. As to funding for such enterprises, well, there’s an investor born every minute.
        Demographically, the town is roughly half black, half white. Many of the younger people are trapped here with few prospects. The drugs trade is almost the only ‘business’ going where one can make more than rock bottom wages without a degree. Many of the younger people I speak to mention one or more of their peers as joining the military. It is almost the only way out of poverty, or close to it, available to a young, even High School educated youth. It’s not just the “slow” people who are suffering in this economy. I like to say that this “Great Recession” has formalized grinding poverty as an “Equal (Lack of) Opportunity” status.
        One of my neighbors is originally from Atlanta, somewhere to the North East I think. He has been here for about ten years now. His father just retired from a job in Atlanta and has moved here too. The area is promoting itself as a “Retirement Community,” but my take on that is that one needs be moribund to ‘enjoy’ the amenities on offer.
        I roughly, very roughly, define Deploristan as that part of ‘Flyover Country’ with a median income below 50,000 USD per year.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            It appears that the locals are not too enterprising in that regard. The older houses that make up the bulk of the housing stock here have little usable “metal” in them.
            The main scrap yard in town, located, naturally enough, in the “Poor Quarters,” was bought up by a Russian concern.
            On garbage days, I have seen people in pickup trucks cruising the back alleys searching for usable refuse. Not all old beat up vehicles either. I see some fairly new autos doing this; some big King Cab types. In that regard, the local car lots have tons of big trucks and SUVs on display, plus equal ‘tons’ of used trucks and SUVs. The prices are now generally considered as being outrageous. Indeed, the main styles of new cars I see on the streets are very high end models, like Audis, Saabs, Mercedes sports models, shiny American Muscle Cars of various makes and models. Almost all of these are driven by younger people. I theorize that the university attracts and houses a higher percentage of well off kiddies, who Mom and Pops gifted with a nice car as a High School graduation present. Counter intuitively, the local drugs impresarios drive around in, those that I can recognize, and it can be done, big, usually white American SUVs. The tell is the driver. Many of these “businesspeople,” almost all men, by the way, use younger white women as drivers. These women generally do not fit the ‘Soccer Mom’ visual norms. ‘Skank’ would be too harsh a term to use, but it approaches the ‘vibe’ given off.
            Deplorisatn is a vibrant, if oddball place.

            Reply
      3. chuck roast

        On the matter of raising the rent in the strip mall:

        The current owners probably have a five-year balloon mortgage. The strategy is to “own” the commercial property for five years and do basic up-keep and and pay the low-interest rate mortgage. After five years it’s time to bail because they gotta’ pay the balloon. So, they sell it for a tidy profit to the greater fool who is playing the same game. They invest the proceeds in another more expensive commercial property within the limited time-frame to prevent capital gains taxes. They get a balloon. Wash, rinse, repeat.

        It’s a great country.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Ooooh! Sneaky b—–ds! They rake off a premium, and ruin the ‘local’ economy in the process. The modern version of Out of Town Slumlords. Since they, the managers, do not live in the locality, they don’t have to even see the damage they do. I would say that this would salve their conscience, but I doubt if this class would recognize the concept.

          Reply
    2. sleepy

      The local downtown mall here in north Iowa is being turned into a hockey rink. All over this town–Younkers, Pennys, Sears, Shopko, KMart have closed. The only restaurants left that seem to be crowded are McD and BK. There are some nat’l chains–Applebees, Pappas, etc., but that’s about it. No idea how they’re doing but like everything else around here I would suspect they’re marginal.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Seriously, I get the feeling that most of the country is now “marginal.” Where I am is a bit better than the rest of rural Mississippi, but not by much.
        At least your failing mall is being repurposed for something probably wanted and useful to the locals. Our big failed mall, near where I live, has become the venue of two salvage stores (chains no less,) a couple of marginal specialty shops, like a Hibberts, and the big General Dynamics phone bank that “services” the Heritage Care scheme and Medicare/Social Security. Most of the people working there have some sort of degree and are working for, the last I heard, 10.40 USD per hour. The Middle Class here is visibly being crammed back down into the subservient position they escaped from one or two generations ago. The best simple name I can come up with for this is: “The Great Unraveling.”

        Reply
        1. Polar Donkey

          Tourism in Memphis is probably down 10 to 15% this summer. Our mayor is running for re-election. Pretty standard white, neoliberal democrat. Aside from some some areas in downtown and midtown, city is in decline. Building of condos/apartments in those two areas mostly happening because of money laundering. Single family homeownership rate is down to 40%. Everyone terrified FedEx is on the ropes. No bonuses paid out this year since company lost a 1/3 of value in last 6 months. Surrounding counties heavily dependent on warehouse/shipping. Automation will pummel these areas over the next 10 years.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            And no one is seriously doing anything to prepare for the ‘dislocations’ all this is guaranteed to bring.
            Re. FedEx, how much of that 1/3 loss is paper value and how much is actual pass through funds? If the company is viable, but the executives and shareholders have to take a ‘haircut,’ well, anything other than “manning up” and riding the dry patch through is anti-rational. Anyone who breaks up a running business that makes even a little money should be shot.

            Reply
        2. anon in so cal

          Yes, the middle class is being decimated. That said, one anecdotal counterexample: We just spent several days visiting some of my husband’s relatives and childhood friends in northern Michigan (northern lower peninsula). The counties in this area voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. Many people in this area voted for Trump in the general. In summer 2016, Trump signs were everywhere. The entire area is incredibly beautiful, with miles and miles of unspoiled habitat. But the towns and cities seem to be booming and some parts look as if they’re verging on out of control development. Not sure how much of this is due to tourism. Meanwhile, returning to Los Angeles, there are new homeless encampments not far from the airport, on Century Blvd.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            How would the Michigan region fare in the global warming regime? I read that the Arctic will warm up the most, but that will be into an otherwise ‘temperate’ clime. Perhaps some early climate migration is going on.
            As for the homeless population out in California, indeed the American West in general, I’ll go out on a rotten limb and suggest that “Internment Camps,” like those used against the Nisei, or Japanese Americans in WW-2 will be resorted to. Out of sight, out of mind. Call them, er, “Re-education Camps,” or, this being neo-liberal America, “Residential Job Centres.” All to maintain ‘harmony’ in the society.

            Reply
            1. pretzelattack

              that sounds all too plausible. perhaps they can be put to work in order to get air or water, like old time chain gangs, assuming chain gangs haven’t been automated, too.

              Reply
            2. anon in so cal

              “How would the Michigan region fare in the global warming regime?”

              Good question. I was also wondering that. There are lakes, rivers, springs, and abundant wetlands everywhere. More anecdotes: The lot of a house situated right beside (and slightly above) the banks of a fairly major river was inundated by water, for several weeks, this past winter. The adjoining lot is a quasi wetland and it was still water-logged. (separately, I asked the owners about mosquitoes as I was badly bitten despite abundant repellent when walking through a nature area. The owners had ducks and claimed the ducks ate all the mosquitoes). A commercial area farther north, on a peninsula and bordering an inlet, (not the UP) had to close for several weeks because the inlet water rose and flooded the area. People said this had never occurred prior to this year. Much of Michigan is flat. But some parts of northern Michigan are rolling hills. These areas will probably be OK, but probably not the rest. There was no discussion of climate change.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Interesting, indeed, fascinating.
                So, the Great Lakes are either rising, perhaps through heavier rainfall in general, or the distribution of the water has been shifted.
                Now, what about Hudson’s Bay? With the thawing of the permafrost north of it, I wonder about farming practices there for the future.

                Reply
    3. pretzelattack

      local walmarts here have installed those metal gates, while opening up more do it yourself checkouts, and laying off live cashiers, but they close the machine checkouts early which leaves 75 people waiting in line for 2 or 3 cashiers. the worst of both worlds.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Oh yes. Those ‘self check out lines’ need a “group mother” to keep them on the straight and narrow. Cut the workforce back too much and you lose the needed labour to ‘cover’ those ‘self checkout lanes.’ A classic demonstration of “efficiency” taken to an extreme.
        When in one of those late night long lines, I get a snack or candybar and eat it. If I finish the item before I reach the front of the line, I “write it off” as repayment for my lost time. “Thanks for all the fish WalMart!”

        Reply
    4. JBird4049

      Second, the Property Management Group who runs the strip mall has let her know that, they aren’t certain if they’ll raise her rent or not, but that, either way, she will now have to sign a three or five year lease. “I would have to be insane to lock myself into a long term lease in these uncertain times. I don’t even know for certain that I can come up with the last month’s rent on my present lease!” This outfit hails from somewhere in Texas and has not cut anybody in their properties any slack whatsoever.

      Recently there were a few comments about how small towns many people just would not lower their asking price for houses and the like for years. Meaning that they cannot sell the property, which I assume makes the seller poorer.??It looks like the company is also the same.

      I don’t get this. One could give good reasons for rising prices in some of the coastal Blue areas. After a few years in the poor inland areas, would it not be obvious that they would only be driving out tenants thus depriving them of any rental income?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        “chuckroast” in a comment just above on July 13 at 3:32 PM mentioned an accounting/tax rule that shapes such corporate investment decisions. To read it, holding rents high benefits the bottom line of the management company and investors in the short term, at the expiry of which ‘short time,’ the property is sold off to another investor.
        As I wrote somewhere else recently; “There is an investor born every minute.”
        This appears to be a case where the financial health of a business entity has been decoupled from the economic health of a region.
        Basically, the present commercial property market has become a Ponzi scheme. It will work until it doesn’t.
        To be completely and unrepentantly snarky about it, the new mantra in Commercial Property Management is; “Dislocation, dislocation, dislocation.”

        Reply
  14. nippersmom

    The Italians/Italian Americans I grew up with (most of whom were Calabrese) used paesan. I would not have construed that as an insult, either. I know they certainly didn’t intend it as one.

    Reply
    1. Harold

      Paesan [short for paesano] = someone from same town, ‘paese’. Paese also means country or nation, ironically.

      Reply
      1. anon in so cal

        Here in California, immigrant workers sometimes affectionately refer to one another as “paisano” or “paiso,” or they use “compadre” or “compa.”

        Reply
  15. shinola

    Google as landlord?
    Reminds me of an old song:

    Ya load 16 tons and what d’ya get?
    Another day older and deeper in debt
    St. Peter don’t ya call me ’cause I can’t go
    I owe my soul to the company store

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      my friend who came back from multiple tours in Iraq sang me the MIC version:

      Ya drone 16 towns, what d’ya get?
      Not an bit safer and deeper in debt
      St. Peter don’t ya call me I”ve got to stay
      I sold my soul to the Warfare State

      Fun fact: the original Tennessee Ernie Ford version is one of the most popular songs in the history of the Soviet Union

      Reply
  16. curlydan

    How does an “I Voted” selfie promote conversation? All it does is promote other people to do copycat selfies. I’ve seen a lot of “I Voted” selfies. There’s been no conversation besides “Me too”.

    All three of those selfie categories promote copycat behavior or one-upping someone else. That is the nature of the selfie. My older son now lets me know that he’s going to “flex on” his friends’ chat group whenever he does something cool. In other words, he’s taking a selfie to show off what he’s doing and you’re not.

    Reply
  17. RainyJane

    Blessings on Bernie Sanders and others for highlighting the cost of insulin in Canada compared to the US. As the parent of a Type 1 teenager, I have been following this story closely.
    It may be instructive to reveal what we pay even with health insurance through a large company. We pay $7000 in yearly premiums and then have a $3100 deductible. Even with drug coverage we still pay $300 per month for our son’s insulin and supplies.
    The cost for health care in this country is the issue, not whether someone is a citizen or not.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      It is not an “issue.” It is a crime. Worse it is a deliberately created evil. That something like insulin that is required by many to live has been medicinal available for a century and cheap to produce for decades that used to be easy to get is now unaffordable for many Americans says something evil is going on.

      Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      People should not have to pay to stay alive. I don’t know what else to say.

      Hope and love to you and yours.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Well, “people should have to pay to stay alive” is a pretty good definition of neoliberalism, I think. And it’s even worse than “people should have to work for wages to stay alive,” because neoliberalism infests everything, making no distinction between time spent laboring and time spent reproducing one’s ability to labor.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          John Varley addressed this issue in his story, “Blue Champagne.” The neo-liberal nature of the medical “profession” is a main plot device in the story.

          Reply
        1. foghorn longhorn

          How about Kaunt Nancy?
          Seems to be her usual response.
          Can’t do this, can’t do that, all we CAN do is dial for dollars.

          Reply
      1. richard

        lol
        as you imply, trump doesn’t really need a nickname for pelosi
        how has she ever obstructed him?
        do you remember him putting his oar in when pelosi was up for speaker?
        i do

        Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Maybe he doesn’t want to. Maybe he likes the effect she is having in her job and position.

      Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Trump has not found a nickname that will stick to Pelosi….

      Never interfere when your enemy is destroying themself?

      Nancy is doing a fine job of defining herself on her own, poorly. Il Douche thinks there is something to the AOC train according to the scuttlebutt? Realignment. Back in the day I remember him saying he was a Democrat, but would run as a Republican because it would be easier? I’d still prefer Bernie, but our future will be with the change agent who actually wins. Sigh.

      ‘Not Now Nancy’ would be an easy target. Why hasn’t that stuck?

      Reply
  18. TonyinSoCAL

    Greatest Generation vs the Squad

    Pelosi is not a member of the Greatest Generation.

    Pelosi also lost the House in a big huge failure of a dumpster fire disaster for the Democratic party in 2010 only to be voted back into the top. Apparently failure is an important qualification to be the head of the D party.

    Reply
  19. marym

    7/1/2019 Bloomberg Law: Trump Wage Chief Adds Visa Hurdles for Trafficking Victims

    Victims of human trafficking and other workplace crimes will have a tougher time getting visas certified by the Labor Department under a policy issued July 1.

    The DOL Wage and Hour Division is retreating from an Obama-era initiative by instituting a more thorough process to certify U and T visas. The permits protect undocumented workers who have suffered “severe” mental and physical abuse and are frequently willing to help put traffickers and law-breaking employers behind bars.

    7/9/2019 Guardian: Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims

    Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking.

    7/12/2019 CNBC: Incoming acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella under scrutiny for work with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff

    Incoming acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella…has his own controversial past that will likely come to the fore. Democratic senators and civil rights groups have expressed concern about Pizzella’s prior work with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the late 1990s and early 2000s to hamper worker protections in the Northern Mariana Islands.

    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights accused Pizzella that fall of working with Abramoff to lobby for policies “that essentially allowed for unchecked slave labor to be performed with the imprimatur of the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label on goods and clothing.”

    Pizzella had previously served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    Reply
  20. Geo

    “The Punisher is a vigilante criminal who uses violent means to combat crime.“

    Seems like a perfect rebranding that is more truthful to their true mission as opposed to that tired old one about “serve and protect” which is about as sincere as “fair & balanced” was.

    Maybe if they adopted the Punisher icon on their uniforms and vehicles the passive white moderates that don’t get bothered much by draconian policing might see the police as the rest of us do and wake up?

    Or, they could reform their policing tactics and training so that “serve & protect” could truthfully apply once more.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Some symbols have a universal meaning.
        The militarization of the domestic police forces is not going to end well.

        Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Why doesn’t Marvel sue them?

      My high school simply ‘prepped’ (poorly) everyone who was going to college. But boy our Vice Principals groomed everyone who was going to become an Officer one day.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        The Death Head is a fairly widespread and old symbol especially among the military. So, maybe it is hard to sue over it and we are talking about the police. Perhaps Marvel is worried about blow back.

        Reply
    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      As an original Punisher fan of the Dolph Lundgren/Louis Gosset Jr 87 film and the Arcade game version, I think its important to point out that the Police were basically good guys and protected the community. They represent “Justice” and could never cross the lines of Vengeance that the Punisher does.

      Yes im defending the punisher symbol. No Cop should ever use it.

      Reply
  21. ambrit

    Short version: The smaller Vitamin store threqw in the towel and will close in three weeks. Business fell off a cliff, mainly due to competition from online, and landlord demands a three or five year lease for next contract.
    The economy is too weak to support marginal small businesses today.

    Reply
  22. 3.14e-9

    “certifiable vulgar talking yam”

    I’ve had it with these vicious slurs! TDS is no excuse for insulting nutritious fruits and vegetables, just because they were born orange. Likewise, there is no animal in the goddess’s creation that deserves such abuse, not even a slug.

    Cheetos are fair game.

    Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Why do I need Yams when there are Sweet Potatoes? I think this is needlessly confusing!

      And as far as actually evil goes, we should keep a wary eye on extension cords. I give a quick yank on a cord and half of western civilization goes down. And somehow this is my fault and not the flipping cord.

      Reply
  23. fdr-fan

    On “shadow work”, the M4ALL advocates should make a movie about the typical experience in countries where single-payer works well.

    Allegedly France, Australia, Taiwan have Medicare-style systems that work well. England is a single-provider system, not a single-payer system, and it doesn’t work as well.

    Or even better, make a movie about the typical experience of Medicare users right here, compared to the tangled deliberate obstruction of private insurance. Medicare isn’t perfect, but it works a lot better and smoother than employer-based private insurance.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      A movie from 2002 related to this is “John Q” starring Denzel Washington and Robert Duval, directed by Nick Cassavetes.
      John Q: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Q.
      See it after watching the film “The Hospital,” starring George C Scott. This theme begs for a third installment.

      Reply
    2. Greg

      Well here in nz, insulin is on Pharmac’s list so your type 1 diabetic will be paying a total of $5 to fill a three month scrip. That is for the pharmacists time.

      Pharmac is a very successful single buyer of drugs, which is why our right wing (and American pharmaceutical) want to kill it.

      Healthcare cost is managed by other vehicles, ministry for care, ACC for recovery and ongoing support, etc.

      Reply
  24. 3.14e-9

    Re: Sanders vs Warren supporters (Politico)

    I read the headline and thought, “Well, duh – maybe that’s because Sanders and Warren have little in common.” Then the first graf:

    Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the most ideologically aligned candidates in the Democratic primary — both left-wing populists who rail against a “rigged” economic system.

    I would have stopped reading right there, if not for NC rules against commenting without reading the article. It was painful.

    Without examining how the questions were asked in “poll after poll” – all six of them, if I counted correctly (past four weeks of Morning Consult, plus one Reuters-Ipsos, and one Washington Post-ABC News poll – it’s impossible to know how the writer justified spinning Bernie and Warren supporters in such sweeping generalities. The only thing that makes a little sense is that Bernie’s younger base might be lower-income, with fewer degrees, because they haven’t finished college yet or recently graduated and don’t have steady work. But we also know that younger voters tend to be under-represented in polls, because most rely on cell phones. So who knows? However, I suspect that this article was meant to be a less-obvious-than-usual Bernie smear job.

    FWIW, in 2016, I caucused in a precinct in King County, WA (Seattle area), that went for Bernie over Hillary 75-25 percent. It was rated by the NYT as the most “liberal” area in the United States – incorrectly, as it turned out, but still, it’s among the most progressive/liberal. It also has a statistically high percentage of PhDs, and while not as affluent as some areas of Seattle, the median income is 1.5 times the national average. There were far more senior Bernie supporters at the caucus, young voters being either at work or sleeping in from late-night bar/restaurant jobs. It was readily apparent from individual statements that Bernie supporters, on the whole, had done their homework and knew the issues, whereas the majority Hillary supporters sounded like they were reading Washington State Dem bullet points. In the limited time for debate, they couldn’t do anything but repeat their talking points, and when challenged, they became irritated and resorted to ad hominem attacks on Bernie, “Bernie bros,” etc.

    Maybe I’m hypersensitive, but there seems to be an underlying message in this article that Sanders “Not a Democrat” could split the vote AGAIN and be responsible AGAIN for Trump winning the election.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      You nailed it with your last sentence. I can see this as a planned outcome. Team Dem have no morals, ethics, or scruples.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        Yes, absolutely. Dem elites want to #Lose2020, then blame it on the (true) Left.

        Dark times.

        And BTW, ambrit, I really appreciate your comments.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Thank you. (My wife has been trying to teach me to accept compliments gracefully for forty years, and I still get awkward.)

          Reply
          1. Janie

            Here’s another one: I enjoy your comments. My family is from the Memphis area and south into Mississippi, with a branch in Louisiana. My cousin went to college in Hattiesburg. It’s good to read your trenchant comments from home territory.

            PS. And thanks to J. Becnel also.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Ah. Southern Miss or William Carey? (Don’t say PRCC! They’re fine and all, but, all the way from Memphis?)
              J Becnel is real Nawlins. His quips about LSU sound right on the money.
              How are you all doing up in Memphis? Another commenter (See: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/commenter) mentioned that tourism is off 10 to 15 percent this year. From having worked in the French Quarter, lo these many years ago, I can understand how the tourist trade can make or break a town.
              Oh, awkward me says thanks. (Phyl says; “See now. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”)
              Keep the faith.

              Reply
    2. jrs

      Isn’t the takeaway from this that Bernie speaks better for those who aren’t doing as well economically? They may have less education, they tend to be younger (but note Bernie’s “younger” advantage isn’t just the young, it’s among middle age people as well, so younger is relative here). One exception is that women also have it harder economically on average (obviously somewhat offset if they are married to a man), but mostly this seems to correlate with economics.

      Reply
  25. Carolinian

    This is an interesting article that suggests the relationship between the Middle East and the rapture movement goes back much further than one might think–to the early 19th century and long before Herzl. Whereas Herzl didn’t care where a Jewish homeland might be created (Uri Avnery said he favored Argentina) the “restorationists” insisted it be Palestine as part of the Second Coming. Our Vice President and Secretary of State believe this.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/11/evangelical-christians-risk-setting-middle-east-on-fire/

    .

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    “It’s Easy to Hate Selfies. But Can They Also Be a Force for Good?”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I suckered some 20 somethings into walking 3 miles and 1,700 feet up the Timber Gap trail, after telling them about what amounts to a flower store running hundreds of feet up and down the trail with a profusion of prettiness in an artist’s palate online starring them prominently, potentially.

    There’s a half mile swath of color after 2 1/2 miles, astounding.

    Reply
  27. RWood

    One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.
    Caitlin Johnstone
    Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/12/top-assange-defense-account-deleted-by-twitter/

    Reply
  28. RWood

    Caitlin sez:

    The time to speak up about this silencing is now. Your voice is next.

    Anyone notice big time delays in copying from some sites, like hers?

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      me2. i don’t want to be tinfoily, but these are tinfoil times. of course the internet (in the u.s. anyway) sucks these days, so there’s that.

      Reply
    2. richard

      anyone who accesses left commentary and news through you tube knows there is f*&^ery afoot. No foilyness about it at all. K. Kulinski covers it here
      in regards to algos and recs
      but you can also just observe constant nudging toward right wing or establishment content
      even if i’ve never shown the slightest interest
      after i watch kulinski or dore video, you tube will always start something from epoch times, or ben shapiro, and i have to slap it away every time
      either their stupid algo is totally clueless to the differences between left/libertarian socialist content and ben shapiro
      in which case it’s worthless
      or they are undermining and quite likely in a relationship with domestic intelligence and i know what i believe

      Reply
  29. kareninca

    I chatted last week with a friend who is an old-timey California Republican. He is a retired engineer, is pro abortion rights, likes investing in bonds, belongs to the Sierra Club. In 2016 he did not vote in the presidential election; he thought that Trump was a potential disaster and so declined to vote for him. He is risk averse and he was taking into account the MSM media claims that the world would end if Trump were elected. Now he thinks he was scammed by those claims, and that Trump is just a good Republican. So he plans to vote for him in 2020. Of course CA votes don’t matter, but there may be a number of people who are annoyed at having been fed “end of world” claims in 2016 that in their view in no way came true.

    Reply
    1. dcrane

      Yes, this. We keep hearing people argue that Democrats will beat Trump in 2020 by reclaiming Dem voters who strayed in 2016. But there is just as much reason to expect that some GOP supporters who believed the scaremongering about Trump in 2016 won’t fall for it again.

      Plus, how many GOP voters who couldn’t stomach voting Trump the last time will head to the polls to do so because of anger over the attempt to get Trump with RussiaRussia hype?

      Reply
  30. Tyronius

    The only poll that consistently signaled the correct. outcome was the Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking polls, and that was because of a methodological error (they oversampled rural voters).

    Since rural voters are over represented in the electoral college this makes a great deal of sense. The poll’s method error is apparently a happy accident- or is it? Surely I’m not the first one to make this connection?

    Reply
  31. readerOfTeaLeaves

    FWIW, that single item listed at FT, on the topic of having to spend endless amounts of time on the phone dealing with insurance — man, that’s a ‘hot button’.

    It’s a topic we don’t hear about often enough in the media… sheesh.
    The cumulative hours Americans spend on the phone trying to sort out medical benefits could probably be much better spent even if we were picking up trash. And I say that as someone *lucky* enough to have medical benefits!
    Crikey.

    Reply
  32. JBird4049

    Tim Cook won’t let go of the idea that the iPad is a serious professional machine (no doubt becuase he wants to destroy the product line and get out of the laptop business).

    I have noticed the increasing craptasticness of the Apple product lines. Why is this a thing? The company has a mountain range of money that it is not using for anything; the reason that even college students want at least a laptop is because that is the bare minimum of functionality that a full course load requires. Even a desktop can be much more useful especially for heavy work and for mine own prematurely aging eyes. Phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop all have different niches and do things better and worse than the other machines.

    However, it is like the company wants to beat all its acolytes, like me, into submission and so keeps telling me that I am a Luddite for asking for effective, and easy, functionality that makes doing my work better and easier to do. Cool is nice, but useful is better.

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    1. Lynne

      My own theory is that Cook has ne’er done actual creative or productive work. All he has ever done is consume the work of others, and therefore, as a neoliberal man to his core, he can’t look beyond himself and has no actual idea how much Apple is cr*pifyng itself.

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